Tomlinson is 'Rodney King moment'
Former Met commissioner Ian Blair has said the acquittal of Simon Hardwood of the manslaughter of newspaper seller, Ian Tomlinson could be Britain's "Rodney King moment".
In a column for The Times, the ex police chief said the case reveals weaknesses in the system.
"The problem is the almost incomprehensible way in which PC Harwood was able to join another police force after he had been accused by the Met of an off-duty assault, only to return to the Met as if the first incident had never happened."
"I fear that the very avoidable tragedy of Ian Tomlinson and the quite proper way in which it was uncovered may lead to some very awkward consequences for the way the British are policed. In the iPhone age, when events can be played back again and again long after the heat of an outbreak of public disorder has disappeared, even justifiable examples of traditional toe-to-toe policing may be extremely uncomfortable.
"But any question about policing that is answered by the words water cannon and plastic bullets is, by definition, the wrong question. We urgently need a new compact about how police officers deploy lawful force before those wrong answers become common sights on our streets."